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The Puppet Master / balance equation

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12 minutes ago, el009 said:

You see, in my opinion the very reason we have been nerfed that hard since the strat of S3 is partially the Puppet Master. It is considered super powerful (not without a reason!) but it might be kind of overrated. You are just right. It offers huge possibities but at the harsh cost and team is heavily lacking in other departments. That's the point of this topic: are Mort players below the curve due to potence of PM? You seem to confrim they lack influence efficency and toughness and I'm asking why is it so?

Mmmh, I'm not sure. Maybe we have to agree to disagree. Let me clarify some of my points:

1) I think the Guild is underexplored, not "heavily lacking" as you put it. Underexploration is nothing game designers can fix. Apart from the two points I mention (INF/health) I think we have stellar players.

2) I do not think PM is a Character Play that leads to a conscious decision of game designers to hold other models back. The main reason for the problematic change from S2 to S3 was Obs as a whole (rightfully so) coupled with Silence, which apparently led to some unintended consequences. PM might habe been a factor then, but right now I do not think that play holds us back. 

So I do not agree with your Hypothesis that the potence of PM is the reason some players are below the curve for two reasons: I do not think SFG consciously balances the guild arounf PM, and I do not think we have many players below the curve.

The two issues I mentioned are IMO there because of a) path dependency and B) the unwillingness of SFG to change guilds mid-season.

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8 minutes ago, Commander Vimes said:

Mmmh, I'm not sure. Maybe we have to agree to disagree. Let me clarify some of my points:

1) I think the Guild is underexplored, not "heavily lacking" as you put it. Underexploration is nothing game designers can fix. Apart from the two points I mention (INF/health) I think we have stellar players.

2) I do not think PM is a Character Play that leads to a conscious decision of game designers to hold other models back. The main reason for the problematic change from S2 to S3 was Obs as a whole (rightfully so) coupled with Silence, which apparently led to some unintended consequences. PM might habe been a factor then, but right now I do not think that play holds us back. 

So I do not agree with your Hypothesis that the potence of PM is the reason some players are below the curve for two reasons: I do not think SFG consciously balances the guild arounf PM, and I do not think we have many players below the curve.

The two issues I mentioned are IMO there because of a) path dependency and B) the unwillingness of SFG to change guilds mid-season.

I see Your point but have to disagree ;)

1. Players are lacking, at least when it comes to inf and health, that alone is enough to call them 'below the curve'. I wish we had star players like i.e. Katalyst (either), Decimate (either), Mist etc. Yet we don't, our squaddies have no raw power. That's guild design, I get it. It's cause we are meant to be 'control team'. And we're back on Puppet Master rails ;)

2. PM was one of the things that made Obs OP in S2 (others were unlimited union, 8 inf cap, acitvation advantage and no MP for 2nd player, Silence). Nerf wasn't that overshot as long as we had Union in our ranks. Why SFG decided to leave most of our players unchanged? If I'm right Obs, Silence and Dirge were nerfed, Cosset, Graves1 and Bonesaw  reworked and the rest unchanged. They could've redistributed power in Guild yet they didn't. Why is that? My idea is they were afraid of PM interactions, what's yours?

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6 minutes ago, el009 said:

 wish we had star players like i.e. Katalyst (either), Decimate (either), Mist etc. Yet we don't, our squaddies have no raw power. That's guild design, I get it. It's cause we are meant to be 'control team'. And we're back on Puppet Master rails ;)

(...)

They could've redistributed power in Guild yet they didn't. Why is that? My idea is they were afraid of PM interactions, what's yours?

Control is much more than PM - at least include Tormented Agony, Tucked/Shutout and Ghast/Casket as a whole (I agree with Dirge, though). I think Morts players have stopped exploring other control elements than PM due to Silence and Scalpel group think.

I think at the end of S2 SFG was afraid of Obs period ;-) They redistributed power by buffing (!) Graves1, Bonesaw and (maybe?) Cosset, but with the unintended consequences of INF/health.

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34 minutes ago, Commander Vimes said:

I think at the end of S2 SFG was afraid of Obs period ;-) They redistributed power by buffing (!) Graves1, Bonesaw and (maybe?) Cosset, but with the unintended consequences of INF/health.

Graves 1 - yup, seriously buffed

Bonesaw - as garbage as he was imo. He's even more squishy  (used to have 13hp and reanimate) but he gained ureliable and MP hungry football dervish

Cosset - shorter playbook helps, trading Damge support for Assisted sucks (when You have ton of dice), minor buff I'd say

 

Ghast had control back in S2, when You could activate him first, knock 2-3 models down and they had very limited options for 1st activation without free MP.  Bringing Ghast and/or Casket also limits Your influence pool. Even more if You give them some inf to do things with. Toremented agony is highly situational I'd say and Silence is unreliable with his control abilities. Does it justify weakness of other players? In my book no. PM (and Cossets Lure, Silence vs low def teams) are only control worth mentioning.

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I Don’t consider that the Morticians are balanced around only one ablity/trait, because there would be no reason to use Scalpel. In my opinión its balance is in the disruption that the Guild provides to stop the rivals game
- they have the capability to remove influence of make them spend more
- they have the capability to steal momentum or deny its generation
- the capability to reposition players and vary the order of activations

Due to all this reasons they have a lower Kick and HP stats and a medium speed and damage ones. I personally enjoy a lot to play with this Guild because it makes you think a lot the plays that you want to make and the combinations of players depending what you’re looking for.
The only complaint that I have in relation to this Guild is Vileswarm and his terrible interaction with vGraves, making the latter a not appealing player, and also the difficulty of the use of Bonesaw’s Football Dervish.

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4 hours ago, Commander Vimes said:

Perkins recently wrote somewhere that Morts have more INF than other guilds, which is simply untrue. He also said somewhere else that the low health pools were not intended as such. I feel that we have lost some guild profile, especially with the downgrade of Silence,  who was our main control guy apart from Obs. That said, all recent additions to the guild habe been very flavourful as well as powerful.

I agre with this in the inf than mortician can generate and his efficiency, maybe changes un season 4?

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10 hours ago, Commander Vimes said:

1) I think the Guild is underexplored, not "heavily lacking" as you put it. Underexploration is nothing game designers can fix. Apart from the two points I mention (INF/health) I think we have stellar players.

2) I do not think PM is a Character Play that leads to a conscious decision of game designers to hold other models back. The main reason for the problematic change from S2 to S3 was Obs as a whole (rightfully so) coupled with Silence, which apparently led to some unintended consequences. PM might habe been a factor then, but right now I do not think that play holds us back. 

1) "Under-exploration" is definitely something that game designers can fix! The truth is that we really do have a lot of control elements across the board, but I would say minimally more so than most other guilds who express control in other ways (knockdown or conditions, dodges and out of activation movement, high ARM reducing playbooks results, counter-charge bubbles... or whatever). If our design was more focused/honed and actually became the manipulation of Influence and Momentum (some of which we already have in Rigor Mortis and Tormented Agony) perhaps that would enable subtle redesigns of Squaddies so that the guild had more purpose and unity overall? If this was the case, perhaps at least our low health box issue might be more acceptable? I feel that Morticians are arguably one of the most difficult guilds to design "right" because hard control plays a super fine line in terms of generating negative play experiences. Maybe it depends on how you define "control"?

2) Fair and this is what I was hoping for - substantiated/justified opinion and perspective beyond "git gud". Thank-you! But do you feel that the shroud of S1-S2 Obulus (and Morticians in general) still subconsciously holds sway over our design though? Are wounds still so shallow that it prevents exploration of the guild? I can't help but notice what happened to Alchemists who (thanks to Midas and Vitriol) were held in much the same regard as Morticians (i.e. NPEs).

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8 hours ago, Dragoon06 said:

I Don’t consider that the Morticians are balanced around only one ablity/trait, because there would be no reason to use Scalpel. In my opinión its balance is in the disruption that the Guild provides to stop the rivals game
- they have the capability to remove influence of make them spend more
- they have the capability to steal momentum or deny its generation
- the capability to reposition players and vary the order of activations

But if this is "our thing" - do we do it well enough across the board to justify low kick stats or low health pools? Other Guilds can do the things noted above too and more besides (often without cost e.g. Get Over Here! and Tag Along).

All you've described is an aspect of playing Guild Ball that every guild has to interact with on some level. That's hardly unique to Morticians.

In fact, what is unique to Morticians? What exactly is it that we do that other Guilds don't (in enough quantity to call it a "play style" or a theme or a design focus)? Hopefully the answer isn't "Puppet Master and Tormented Agony"!

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Maybe its because I play multiple guilds and have a very diverse play group of fairly high level folks (I'm definitely the small fish in my pond), but a lot of what I keep hearing sounds a lot like "I don't like my chosen Guild because other Guild does 'x' better." That isn't meant to derail the thread or to be a personal attack on anyone. Rather it is meant to point out that the Guilds are supposed to be qualitatively different. Morts control should feel different than Hunters or whatever other Guild you want to call Control oriented. Every Guild is supposed to have its weaknesses. There should be some really tough matchups for any given Guild - hopefully no brick walls, but some that you need to absolutely be more skilled and maybe even have some luck on your side to win.

In that regard, Morts are squishy. Morts have to make hard choices with their INF/player selection. We no longer have a "top tier" striker, but we do have one of the longest goal threats (albeit super janky.) Morts are getting smoked by a couple of strong Guilds right now, but I feel like they smoke a couple pretty hard too. PM, Misdirection, Tormented, Shutout, Tucked, Rigor, Voodoo Strings all feel and behave differently than other Guilds. On top of that, I think we have probably the highest single activation damage output available in any guild (INF spent might shift it a bit.) Are we balanced around our Captains and/or their plays - yes. But show me a Guild who isn't.

Now if the discussion is a matter of did they tweak the knobs over the whole Guild too far after S2, I think that might have some merit. Giving everyone a health point  or two back across the board would do wonders against the higher outputs of the new guilds. Changing the INF distribution would be fine with me too, though I think with vHemlocke, Pelange, and Skulk that it is probably not necessary. I'd be cool seeing Obs drop to a 4/7 with silence going back to a 3/3-4, making Ghast a 2/3 or Casket a 2/4 to change up the line ups a bit. But I think the Guild is in a good spot that is not incomparable to where many others are. Since the Farmers nerf, things seem to be pretty good overall (save Blacksmiths being an outlier), but we still don't have a ton of data (games played with current errata) to go off of. Will be interested to see what happens post HOWZAT!?! and Salute as we should get approximately another 100 games on most of the Guilds prior to Rats hitting.

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